Once you are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s it is a disease that can only be managed with long-term care and has no known cure. With as many as 7 million people diagnosed with it each year around the world, it is fast becoming a global epidemic among people over the age of 55. It is also a disease that can possibly be prevented with the proper changes in lifestyle at a younger age before this type of slowly-progressing disease can take its toll. Science India, Health India, Indian Style, Weird, Amazing, Indian Lifestyle, Cool Stuff, Science, Brain, Memory, Alzheimer disease, Research, Scientific research, Science, Science, Science, Canada, Australia, Japan, India Technology, Indian History, Women, Lifestyle, Women Of Color, Women History, Women Of Science. Science India
1. Daily Activity
Without regular exercise, eating healthier will not have the same positive effects if it is not done with a daily physical regimen. It has been proven that simply trying once a day for about 30 minutes to walk, jog, or work some cardiovascular workout into your schedule can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 50%. This is because getting more physical increases the flow of oxygen through the bloodstream which keeps cognitive function at an optimum level, slowing the aging process.
2. Don’t Isolate Yourself
We actually need contact with other human beings in order to keep our brain at its utmost functioning level. Verbal communication is the greatest source of stimulation for our cognitive function to thrive and keep our brain synapses actively developing on a daily basis. Without this type of social activity, our brain cells begin to die and fail to regenerate, leading to diseases like Alzheimer’s. This means that you should actively seek social environments such as:
- Joining organizations
- Volunteering to help others
- Staying in contact with neighbors
- Going on planned outings or impromptu evening activities
- Having a monthly dinner party, card night, or book club
3. Healthy Eating Habits
Don’t just cut out fast foods or greasy entrees, make a mindful effort to adopt an all-around eating regimen that you can comfortably live by for the rest of your life. This greatly reduces the risk of disease like Alzheimer’s from occurring based on the creation of the body’s metabolic balance between warding off disease and stopping it through the body’s neuron-signaling system. So, things such as inflammation and overactive insulin due to bad health that contribute to damaging neurons are prevented.
The best choice you can make immediately is to drastically reduce your intake of foods high in sugar and “bad” carbs such as any of the “yellow” and “white” foods like flour, pasta, rice, and sweets. You also should reduce a high intake of “bad” fats such as processed and pre-packaged foods while avoiding fast food altogether.
Instead, build a diet around the healthy fats such as Omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Then, increase vitamin supplements like B12 and folic acid that keep nerve cells healthy and develop red blood cells and are known to be a preventive to Alzheimer’s.
Replenish Vitamin D
We take in this vitamin through nutrients known as secosteroids whose job it is to become hormonal components in the body and aid the intestines in consuming all the calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and phosphorous that vitamin D brings into the body when we consume foods rich with it.
The problem is that on average, 55% of people do not get the daily amount that is needed for optimal absorption and are severely lacking in this which needs to be approximately 600 IU per day for anyone under the age of 70. This goes up to 800 IU for seniors 70 years and up. There are even suggested intakes from other medical professionals of upwards of 1000 IU per day from The Vitamin D Council.
Getting outside and taking in vitamin D through UV rays is an alternative, but that takes a conscious change in lifestyle to accomplish. The safe alternative is taking a vitamin D supplemental pill or form of vitamin D every day as well as eating foods rich in vitamin D such as:
- Fish oils
These are “good fats” that promote healthy cognitive functions in both children and adults. The Omega-3 fatty acids are absorbed through the cell membranes to form a healthy network of communication between our brains and the rest of our system. The Omega 3 fatty acids are particularly helpful in the initial stages of dementia to deter the symptoms as well as help with prevention. Eating the following types of foods will assist with this:
- Salmon, herring, mackerel
- “Oily” nuts such as walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed
If you have an allergy to fish and fish oils, you can substitute Thorne Fish Oil or other vegetarian Omega-3 supplements found at your local store.
The old saying, “eat your greens” doesn’t seem so far-fetched now when you consider studies that have shown leafy, green vegetables contribute to the prevention of dementia in big ways.
Individuals who were part of research that who were given this type of food at least once a day over a period of several years were shown to have brain functionality on par with individuals who were nearly 12 years younger compared to people who never consumed green vegetables.
The abundance of vitamin K in these types of vegetables appear to contribute greatly to the development of healthy cognitive functions. Any of the following types of vegetables are considered in this category for daily eating:
- Brussel sprouts
- Collard greens
Without even realizing it, many people experience inflammation caused by a multitude of lifestyle choices including practicing poor eating habits and irregular schedules all leading to inflammation. This affects the brain in many ways including changing the actual structure over an extended period manifesting in dementia as well as other things such as diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. There are a variety of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements to prevent this from happening:
- Omega-3 rich foods and supplements
- Green vegetables
- Vitamin D rich foods and supplements
- Sesame and chia seeds
- Walnuts, almonds and other nuts
- Olive oil
4. Keep Your Mind Active
The worst thing anyone can do is retire from life just because they retire from work. Lack of stimulation to the brain even over a short period of time has been proven to be a leading cause of dementia that could bring the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Practice daily mental acuity games such as crossword puzzles, strategy games, and memorization techniques to exercise the mind like you exercise your muscles to keep them nimble and your body agile well into your advancing years.
It is also productive to consistently learn brand new things that give your mind the opportunity to function at an optimal level as it processes a variety of details and directions that you must observe, react, and mimic as you become adept at your newfound activity.
And don’t forget to get out of old routines and change up your daily schedule every week. Getting stuck in old patterns that you can set your watch by makes your mind stagnant, unstimulated, and will eventually lead to symptomatic signs of dementia and possible Alzheimer’s down the road.
5. Regular Sleep Habits
One of the biggest problems associated with Alzheimer’s is from individuals who had a history of interrupted sleep patterns throughout their adult life. This means they allowed their rapid-eye-movement sleep phase (REM) to be regularly interrupted or even non-existent at some point each night. This leads to an increase in the production of beta-amyloid protein in the brain which is a direct result of memory loss.
Avoid this with scheduling little “cat naps” in the afternoon to refresh your brain and set it back in full cognitive activity. If it is difficult for you to find time during the day to nap, then make sure you create a sleeping ritual before bedtime that puts you in a relaxed state of mind and body that will make it much easier to fall asleep at a regular time every evening. This might include an aromatherapy bath or homemade steamy facial. It could be just dimming the lights and putting on some relaxation music as you close your eyes and clear your mind of the day’s stresses. Within a few weeks of doing any of these, it will become a habit and lead to more restful sleep.
6. Reduce Stress
Anyone of the culprits of Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by leading a life full of stress and chronic anxiety. This type of emotional trauma and what we perceive as a lack of control over things that may be occurring in our life lead the brain to stop regenerating nerve cells properly, causing brain restructuring and even damage, leading to Alzheimer’s.
Practice meditating your stress away daily either through relaxation classes or quiet walks. Once you begin these activities, you will not only reduce your stress, but it will be something to look forward to after a particularly hard day at work. You can also practice breathing exercises while you are experiencing times in your life of stress even as they are happening. Breathing in deeply through the nose and then slowly letting the air out through the mouth can lower blood pressure almost immediately.
You can also be a bit self-deprecating in times of serious anxiety and stress. Taking what seems to be a particularly serious situation and finding the funny side of it decompresses the moment and almost instantaneously makes it not seem so bad and easier to cope with it.
Additional Things to Consider:
- The body and mind work together, so feed both properly
- No smoking allowed: Studies have linked people who smoke to nearly an 80% higher chance of developing the disease than non-smokers.
- Moderate drinking: Anything in excess is usually bad and that goes for inordinate amounts of alcohol contributing to higher risks of Alzheimer’s disease as well as signs of premature aging.
- A healthy weight for your height gives you nearly a 50% less chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease
Are you aware of any ways to prevent Alzheimer’s that would help others? Show this article to friends & family who might also be at risk.